Concerned crowd asks Columbiana council about "Man Camps" - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Concerned crowd asks Columbiana council about "Man Camps"

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COLUMBIANA, Ohio - The bulk of the shale work force is from out of town so many workers are staying at local motels and hotels.

But a proposal to build a hotel in Columbiana had many residents up in arms Tuesday night.

People were actually lined up outside the building at a Columbiana City council meeting, trying to get in but there was little room left.

Residents heard a rumor that the proposal was for a "man camp" to be built in the area.

A man camp is a term used to describe settlements for workers of the gas industry in places like North Dakota. They're like make shift motels were workers live away from their families.

The mayor of Columbiana was quick to tell residents at the meeting that there was no such proposal for that here.

"The conversation from what was presented to council last week spurred a lot of people to believe that what could be and that's why there are so many people here tonight," said Mayor Bryan Blakeman.

And that conversation was centered around a Pittsburgh developer who approached council about building a new hotel in town.

The mayor says it's not a chain hotel but it would likely be a building with one central entrance and not a motel with outside individual room entrances.

After hearing the news residents told council they just think now is the time to start planning for future development.

Skip Liston of Columbiana said, "We want this place to grow just like everybody else does but it has to grow in an orderly fashion. But it can't be hap hazard there has to be procedures put in place to dictate that."

Mary West, also of Columbiana, said, "I believe we need rules and regulations on commercial buildings. I looked at what Canfield has just for hotels they have seven pages and we have half a paragraph."

Council has not received any formal proposals for any hotel development.

The mayor is asking council to create an architectural review board.

Council is also working to get some type of regulation on the books in regards to future long term stay hotels.

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